Vegetables To Grow Indoors
Indoor gardening is the latest trend especially among those who look for alternatives to buying organic vegetables, which are quite expensive. With your own vegetable garden at home, you can grow all your favorite vegetables and consume fresh, healthy and tasty produce every day, without having to pay the hefty price. This alternate gardening method is known as container gardening.
Container gardening is an easy way to grow vegetables at home. A good container is needed with good drainage so that some water is retained while the excess slowly drains away from the container. The bottom portion of the container is lined with marbles and stones (to keep some water trapped) and an organic soil mix is put just on top of this. Any stylish container with good drainage can be used to grow vegetables. This container can then be placed in your garden or even on your window sill – just ensure that the container gets at least 10 hours of sunlight each day.
Selecting Vegetables For Your Vegetable Garden
Before moving ahead with purchasing quality vegetable seeds, you have to decide which vegetables you desire to grow. Keep in mind your family preferences and what everyone enjoys to have, or else the whole idea of indoor gardening will be futile. Several vegetables are suitable for indoor gardening which includes spinach, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, beans, peas, pepper and eggplant to name a few. These do not need a lot of space and grow well indoors.
Vegetables Suitable For Indoor Gardening
Radishes and Carrots – Radishes and carrots grow well indoors. Unlike other root crops, these do not need much depth and can grow wonderfully in pans, troughs and boxes which can all be placed indoors in any area which gets enough sunlight. The best time to sow seeds is late winter and mid autumn. Usable roots start appearing with 22-25 days. Round carrots can be planted in containers and boxes, with good drainage.
Peas and Beans – French beans grow well in pots or small containers. These can be sown later in winter and pods start developing quickly. Dwarf runner beans and dwarf broad beans grow well indoors too. Tall runner beans are often planted indoors not just for their consumption purpose but also help to increase the décor of the area. Pods can be picked while young to enjoy them juicy, tender and fresh.
Lettuce and Spinach– Greens are a common choice for any vegetable garden as these are easy to grow, can be eaten anytime and are full of nutrients. Spinach is quite popular because it can be stored for long even after harvesting.
Cherry tomatoes – Many gardeners believe that indoor gardening is incomplete without cherry tomatoes. These are considered to be just perfect for container gardening and grow well in large pots. They need a stake so that they do not bend when they have fruits.
Potatoes – Potatoes grow well indoors. They can be planted in buckets, plastic sacks and even in large pots. While planting the tubers, you need to ensure that there is some space left in the top section of the container, so that more compost can be added when the plants develop. If needed the top section of the sack can be rolled up and down as per requirement.
Eggplants and Tomatoes – These grow well in windowsills and corners of any garden. They grow from small plantlets and even from the seeds. Hanging baskets or window boxes are ideal places for growing fresh eggplant and peppers in any vegetable garden.
Onions – Onions grow well in a large container. These can be seeded directly and planted about 2 inches away from one another. The soil needs to be well watered and regularly enriched with organic compost.
Broccoli – Broccoli grows well from its seeds which are easily available. You need a compost rich soil and should be ideally sowed between February and June.
Vegetable Gardening Tips
Prepare the soil – For the best tasting vegetables you need to have a productive garden and this is possible only when you make its foundation rich and healthy. You need a well draining, crumbly soil. In container gardening too you need to add organic matter in the form of bagged humus, finished compost and straw.
Check The Temperature – Indoor gardening needs special emphasis on right air temperature when planted. Peas which are resistant to frost, also might not germinate if the soil is below 39 degree. Ensure that the plants are not exposed to frost and if they are, you need to arrange for the right cover against frost.
Sunlight – Vegetable plants need at least 8-10 hours of sunlight. Ensure that your indoor garden gets adequate sunlight for growth and development of vegetables. However, you need to ensure that plants are not over exposed to sunlight or it will dry them and eventually stunt their growth.
Mingle Plants – Try to grow a mix of different veggies in your vegetable garden. You can mingle different varieties of veggies such as beans, pepper and squash can be planted together.
Keep Pests Away – Gardens will attract pests but you need to be careful and take measures to keep pests away. Fencing, traps or sprays are all good to keep away pests from your vegetable garden.
Check the Water – Water is important for indoor growing vegetables. Their soil is capable of holding a specific quantity of water and containers tend to dry quickly too. If the plants are growing vigorously, they will need more water. Always have your container or tray lined with pebbles which helps in holding the water. Over watering can be really dangerous and rot the vegetable garden. It can lead to stunted growth and even death of the plants.
Container gardening is simple and does not require much expertise – all you need to ensure is that you have the best quality seeds, plants gets good organically rich soil and enough sunlight. Beginners can start by planting a single variety and with time, expand to multiple types of fruits and vegetables.